10 September 2013, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has said about 162 electrocutions and 132 injuries, all induced by poor safety regulations and compliance were recorded in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, in 19 months.
NERC stated recently at a public consultation on its draft health and safety code authored for adoption in NESI that most of the accidents were recorded in the sector between January 2102 and July 2013, mostly at various electricity distribution companies and points in the country.
The commission thus noted that when approved for operation, it would not hesitate to initiate penalties against electricity distributions companies that fail to comply with extant provisions in its health and safety codes.
Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, stated in Abuja that the commission had taken up the challenge to ensure zero safety incidences and accidents in NESI, adding that existing safety guidelines and standards in the sector were last reviewed in 1988 which indicates that contemporary safety practices in NESI are almost non-existent.
Amadi explained that its new electricity health and safety standards manual was developed by NERC and renowned United States consulting firm, Princeton Energy Resources International, PERI, with funding from the United States Trade and Development Agency, USTDA.
He further stated the manual contained standard sets of rules and penalties for the compliance of all licensed operators in NESI. According to him, the final draft code was compiled by a codification committee comprising of representatives from the various generation and distribution companies, ministry of power, Independent Power Producers, IPPs, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the ministry of justice.
“NERC identified the need to develop health and safety standards manual and code, the purpose is to change the course of delivering electricity services to customers and ensure the safety of equipment, utility workers and members of the public within the NESI.
“The journey of entrenching a new safety culture in NESI commenced in 2008 when NERC received a special grant from the USTDA to develop the electricity health and safety standards manual.
“The manual is a world class document put together by NERC staff and US consulting firm, PERI with good industry and best practices,” Amadi said.
– This Day